Top 10 Real Estate Trendsetters for 2007

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See which real estate brokerage, franchises, technology companies and service providers dominated the real estate industry last year and therefore have a huge advantage to influence 2008. In 2007 these top companies each in their own way set forth actions that were different and memorable and could potentially have a far reaching impact on the real estate industry for buyers, sellers, brokers and real estate agents.

Top 10 Real Estate Trendsetters 2007

I believe that as a result of their vision, drive, commitment and leadership, the industry is stronger today than before.

Every year the Swanepoel TRENDS Report (RealSure Publishing), as part of its in-depth study of the residential real estate industry, announces the top companies that during the previous calendar year (2007) set forth actions that were different and memorable and could potentially have a far reaching impact on the real estate industry in the years to come.

Companies that have been listed in recent years include Google, Redfin and First American. Three companies are featured for the second time on the list, namely Zillow, Trulia and RealEstate.com, while the Housing Boom and collapse of the Secondary market introduced new companies namely Bank of America and the Federal Reserve. The growth of Social Networking was acknowledged with the inclusion of ActiveRain but overall the year seemed to be dominated by a few large real estate companies such as Realogy, RE/MAX and EXIT.

The Top 10 Trendsetters for 2007 are (in countdown order):

10. Bank of America
Bank of America, the largest retail banking operation in the country, for their saving of ill-fated and cash-starved Countrywide.

9. EXIT Realty
Based on a system that pays out residuals, EXIT's innovation in redistributing the commission pie and strong growth in recent years to become one of the 10 largest national franchises in the country.

8. RealEstate.com
For the turn about in expanding an online business and successful opening of 12 "bricks and mortar" locations.

7. Federal Reserve
For the poor handling of the forewarned housing bubble that liked to the worst housing slump in two in decades and the largest collapse of the financial markets since the depression.

6. Trulia
Racing up the Hitwise list to become one the 3rd largest traffic contributor to 12 of the largest residential real estate franchisors and brokerages nationwide.

5. ActiveRain
Launched in June 2006, ActiveRain assumed the mantle as the #1 in real estate social network boasting 60,000 members by 2007.

4. RE/MAX
Leading the charge in adding everyone's listings on their corporate website, Remax.com became the most visited website of any national real estate company generating a record 3 million leads for its agents.

3. Zillow
Fueled by "Zestimates" and excellent publicity, Zillow became the most talked about company in real estate and their site was one of the top 3 most visited websites in real estate.

2. Dominion
Combining print publications Harmon Homes, For Rent, New Homes & Living, Home Solutions and Distinctive Homes together with websites Homes.com and ForRent.com and companies Number1Expert, Katabat and eNeighborhoods, Dominion has in two short years become a force in the industry.

1. Realogy
Breaking up Cendant into three separate operating units (valued at $7.75 billion) made Realogy the new parent for all their real estate activities (Coldwell Banker, Century 21, ERA, NRT and Sotheby's). Realogy is the industry's largest franchisor in the world with more than 15,000 employees and 315,000 affiliated real estate brokers and sales associates worldwide. In September 2007 they added Better Homes and Gardens to their portfolio solidifying their position at the top of the list of 2007 Trendsetters of the Year.

The acknowledgment of these companies based on many contributing factors including product innovation, influence on the industry in 2007 and their anticipated impact over the next few years, the value of the contribution, acceptance by the market and the general awareness thereof. The Top 10 Trendsetters are listed in the front of the 2008 Swanepoel Trends Report, due for release on January 25th. According to Swanepoel, the companies selected are the current drivers and leaders in the industry and collectively caused more change in 2007 than any other companies. "I believe that as a result of their vision, drive, commitment and leadership, the industry is stronger today than before."

The Swanepoel TRENDS Report is a 170-page Report that dissects the top 10 trends shaping the real estate brokerage industry for the coming year. The Report is created by Stefan Swanepoel -- best selling author of 13 books and reports and over 11 years as the leading analyst of trends and business changes and the strategy direction of the real estate industry. The Report is annually published by Realsure Publishing and distribute by the RealtyU Online Bookstore and Amazon.

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ZARITA SENEKAL

Stefan Swanepoel
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